Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Other Rookies

from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,

With all the pre-season rookie chatter surrounding Evgeni Malkin – with the likes of Gilbert Brule, Matt Carle and Wojtek Wolski tossed in for good measure – there wasn’t much said about two of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s NHL pre-season. Dustin Penner of the Anaheim Ducks and Alexander Radulov of the Nashville Predators have emerged as pre-season standouts and two players who might vault themselves into the Calder Trophy race.
continued

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Building A Foundatin

from the Calgary Sun,

Relax. Take a deep breath and clear your head of all negative thoughts. That's Miikka Kiprusoff's routine when a puck gets by him. "He's building a foundation. Right now, his mindset is Oct. 5 and to get Jim Playfair his first win as an NHL coach," said Marcoux, adding the team learned its lesson from a slow start last year and will give Kipper a full extra game this pre-season.
more

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When Is It Enough

from the Ottawa Sun,

Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach would be the current U.S. tabloid superstars, with the paparazzi pulling in big bucks. Larry King, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert would have enough shows to last them a year. Inevitably, Domi and Stronach would get a lucrative book deal, and a huge contract for their own reality TV show called "Jugs and the Jock" that would pull in far more viewers than did the screwed-up Gotti family, Osbourne family, and the current Gene Simmons family.
read on

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NHL Store In NYC

via the NY Post,

The National Hockey League will soon plant its puck in Midtown with plans to open its first-ever retail store on Sixth Avenue at 47th Street, The Post has learned. The league has signed a lease with landlord Reckson for the glass-wrapped corner of 1185 Sixth Ave., where it will have 6,712 square feet to display its sprawling array of sportswear, team accessories and other merchandise. An announcement is expected after the NHL season gets under way next week. Not coincidentally, the NHL also plans to move its corporate offices into the tower from 1251 Sixth Ave. next year.

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Time To Grow-Up

from the Columbus Dispatch,

Moments after the Blue Jackets signed Nikolai Zherdev to a threeyear, $7.5 million contract yesterday, president and general manager Doug MacLean stressed that a baby sitter will no longer be part of the deal. "We’re not going to have a fulltime baby sitter for him," MacLean said. "There’s a difference between getting him help and getting him a baby sitter. We’re willing to help the kid, of course. But we need Nikki to come in here ready to be a better teammate. That’s the bottom line."... MacLean said yesterday that Zherdev has promised to buy $125,000 worth of tickets during the next three seasons to be donated to charity. "Nikolai is a good, young kid," MacLean said. "He wants to do well and he wants to do the right thing."
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MacLean Takes The Ice

More information on Ron MacLean putting on the red armband tonight. KK readers were advised last week that he would be doing this... from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,

So Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, a critic of National Hockey League referees, is joining the other side to officiate the second period of tonight's Buffalo Sabres-Pittsburgh Penguins exhibition game. "I think this is the time to bury the hatchet," said MacLean, who will work with Stephen Walkom, the NHL's director of officiating. The overture to MacLean was made by the league's vice-president and director of hockey operations, Colin Campbell, who invited MacLean to the referees' training camp in Fort Erie, Ont., last week The bid to bring onside a critic of the new NHL was a slick move by Campbell, whose staff have been rankled by MacLean's complaints. During a Hockey Night media telephone conference call yesterday, MacLean said the referees at Fort Erie were in his face.
more

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Devils Status

from the NY Post,

If Lamoriello wins relief on Mogilny, he can probably save enough room by sending Greene and Hale to Lowell and keeping minimum salary backliners like Oduya. The situation also weighs against former first-rounder Travis Zajac, who would make some 900G if he sticks. If Lamoriello doesn't gain relief on Mogilny, then he will have to clear nearly $5 million in salaries, and smaller numbers will not be enough. Players like John Madden, Jamie Langenbrunner, Sergei Brylin and even Scott Gomez might haved to be moved.
more

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Chelios On Owens

Chris Chelios was on Detroit radio today and was asked how a player like Terrell Owens would do in the NHL? Cheli's response, "He'd never make it, he would get his a## kicked by his own teammates." We are getting close to hockey mode folks!!!

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Phenomenal Competitive Balance

from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Canada.com,

The 89th NHL season kicks off next Wednesday with all 30 clubs believing they have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. Seriously. "The parity is amazing," says veteran centre Jeremy Roenick of the Phoenix Coyotes. "You can't count anybody out in hockey anymore. There's no clear contender for the Cup."... Last season, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman points out, 22 clubs either made the playoffs or were within 11 points of making the playoffs. "That is phenomenal competitive balance," said Bettman. "Because I think what a sports league owes its fans, no matter what team they root for, is the hope, the optimism, the excitement, that their team has a shot."
much more

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Facing The Challenge

Tele-conference with Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal...

Q. There was a lot of talk about younger players adapting to the grind of the NHL in your second year, you went through 107 games, how was that for you physically? And the second question will be: Are you concerned much about the exhibition games with no wins so far, and what do you think the team needs to do to get better the next few days? ERIC STAAL: It is a long year. You know, I think it's something you learn as a process, your first year, you kind of know what to expect and it makes it easier the next time around. I think with our team, last year, was easy for me because we had such a great group of guys that when you went to the rink you wanted to be there; it was exciting; it was fun, we were winning and all of those things help and it makes it go a lot quicker. It was a long year but it didn't really feel like 107 games. It felt like it went by so fast. You know, that helps when you've got a great team to be around. And the second question, you know, training camp, you know, it's about getting back into your timing, your speed, your passes, everything like that, and you know, we obviously want to win every game we can, but I don't think anyone is too worried about the first three games. We're trying new guys here and there, and I think by this weekend here, or by tomorrow night, we're going to have most of the guys that are going to be in the lineup opening night on the weekend, and really need to have a good two games and get ready for the year.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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